Muscle relaxers are drugs that help to alleviate ailments like muscle spasms, pain, and hyperreflexia.
Most people who take muscle relaxers suffer from muscle spasms, which occur when one or more of your muscles cramps or twitches involuntarily. These spasms can often be uncomfortable and extremely painful. While most individuals can take over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil to alleviate the pain, these medications may not be suitable for people who have liver problems or stomach ulcers. Instead, their doctors may prescribe them a muscle relaxant. While these medications can be helpful, the side effects of muscle relaxers can also be just as uncomfortable and painful as the problems they're meant to treat.
As a drug and alcohol treatment center in Chicago, we know that muscle relaxers can be addictive and can also cause severe symptoms. We’re taking a closer look at these medications and the harm they can cause, especially when taken irresponsibly.
What Do Muscle Relaxers Do?
We have two types of muscles, striated and smooth. Molecules within muscle fibers are responsible for muscle contraction. A muscle spasm is an involuntary muscle contraction that can be very uncomfortable and painful. Contractions occur when the muscle lacks certain nutrients. Nutrient deficiency in the muscles can occur for a variety of reasons, such as overuse, fatigue, exposure to excessive heat, diabetes, kidney disease, and more. Muscle relaxers (relaxants) work by reducing stiffness or tightness in the muscles, which reduces pain and discomfort. Some may target the central nervous system while others target the muscle directly. Some common muscle relaxers include baclofen, diazepam, tizanidine, carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and methocarbamol.
Like all medications, muscle relaxers should not be misused, shared, or abused. Taking more muscle relaxer pills than the prescribed dose or taking them more frequently than directed is highly dangerous and can lead to addiction. Muscle relaxants should also never be mixed with alcohol or antihistamines. Despite the severity of muscle relaxer side effects, quitting them can be difficult to do for people who have become dependent on them. At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we offer a variety of substance abuse treatment programs in Naperville that target different addictions, including those involving prescription drugs. You or someone you love can rest easy knowing that our team offers the necessary care and treatment needed to manage addiction cravings and achieve long-lasting sobriety.
What Are The Side Effects Of Muscle Relaxers?
The side effects of muscle relaxant medications usually begin working within 30 minutes and can last anywhere between four and six hours. While muscle relaxers may affect the central nervous system and others affect muscles directly, they can all cause a variety of uncomfortable and even dangerous side effects.
Some common side effects of muscle relaxers include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased blood pressure
The side effects of taking too many muscle relaxers are dangerous and may vary depending on the dose ingested. Muscle relaxants can also produce harmful symptoms when mixed with alcohol or antihistamines, medications that are used to alleviate allergic reactions. The sedative effects of alcohol combined with the side effects of muscle relaxant drugs can be fatal. Addiction can also occur if muscle relaxers are abused or misused. Like many medications that alleviate pain and cause drowsiness, muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine are abused frequently. As a result, users often develop psychological and physical dependence. If an individual with an addiction to muscle relaxers attempts to quit using them without professional help, the results can be devastating.
At Banyan Chicago, we offer patients the care and treatment they need to get sober. With 24-hour care and treatment, patients in our residential treatment program will have everything they need to regain their health and control over their lives. Do not wait to get help for yourself or a loved one. Call us now at 888-280-4763 to learn how we help our patients achieve their recovery goals.